Posted in Monday Mayhem

Crossing a Zombie with a Vampire

I’ve always wondered if a zombie were to ever crossbreed with a vampire, what exactly would you have? It wouldn’t be a zombie, that I know. That would mean the resulting monster, for lack of a better term, would have not only an appetite for human, but also the appetite to drain it of its blood. By the same argument, it wouldn’t be a vampire as that would mean it wouldn’t hunt in packs, much like zombies do in popular movies today.

Zombie Rising
Zombie Rising

I thought for my Monday Mayhem series of articles dedicated to zombies, today I would explore this awful but lethal combination of crossing a zombie with a vampire. If birds can do it, why not the undead?

Looking at it logically, I wouldn’t discount the possibility that such a breed could exist. After all, zombies and vampires have a lot in common. They both are undead. They enjoy human as their choice of nourishment. And if they had their way, they’d have a run at taking over the whole world with their species. What’s to say they wouldn’t succeed?

How about the differences? These are easy. Although they don’t plan coordinated attacks, zombies hunt in groups. Even more so, when a zombie attacks, it lets loose grunts, shrieks or shrills that alert other zombies of a potential feeding frenzy. This is not on purpose, yet they have that capability to unleash devastating damage to an unsuspecting populace simply by their overt cries of hunger. Additionally, zombies do not give up easily. That’s not to say vampires do, but it is to say zombies will keep coming after a victim until its dead. Vampires can’t do that since as soon as the sun makes an appearance vampires have to flee. I’m not talking about the sparkling ones either.

Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead

What about vampires? Vampires have an innate sense of communication zombies lack. In fact, vampires talk. Zombies do not. Other than R in the movie Warm Bodies, who I would classify as an exception to the rule, zombies typically have a one-syllable vocabulary bordering on animal. A series of groans could mean they’re hungry. In a vampire’s case, however, there’s no denying they possess articulate speech, enunciated words and eloquent vocal patterns. Vampires can talk their way out of anything.

Which brings me to the what if scenario. What if zombies were to crossbreed with vampires? Would Horror fans call them vampbies or zombires? Would they melt in the sun or would they survive in any lighting condition? What about their hunger? Would they crave human meat or human blood?

The list goes on. How about their hunting patterns? Would they form packs and hunt in coordinated attack patterns or go off alone hoping what they come across would keep them alive for another day?

My opinion? I would like to see a crossbreed of pack-hunter able to change forms and go after humans not just for their blood. I would like to see a creature eloquent in speech but deadly in battle that neither a wooden stake or a bullet to the head could stop. I would like to see the ultimate Horror creature give humans a run for their lives in a city setting where strength and cunning would rule the genre.

But then I would have a problem. What would I call such a creature?


What do you think about crossing a zombie and a vampire?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Who Would Win?

I’ve written a huge amount of material dedicated to zombies. Yeah, no kiddin’. I’ve also written several articles featuring vampires. Each monster has its advantages and disadvantages of being who they are. But picking a fight, who would win? I thought for today’s Monday Mayhem I’d write about zombies vs. vampires and have some fun speculating who would come out victorious in a full-tilt battle between these two creatures of Horror.

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene in The Walking Dead
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene in The Walking Dead

What do we know?

Depending on who you talk to, zombies can either drag their limbs to their victim or dash in a fit of rage. Either way, you’re dead. No matter if you have a slow or fast zombie on your tail, you’ll soon have to stop for a breath. Or you can climb a tree and stay there until you fall to your ultimate demise. Zombies also come in packs. Therefore, even if you encounter slow zombies lurching about, more than likely you’ll have a horde after you. The awful thought about the whole genre is that they act as one unit. When one of them hears a noise the rest follow. They have have no sense of stopping once they’ve placed a marker on a victim.

Vampires function on another level. They’re cunning, choosing to lure and trap their victims with their wily use of stealth. If they mark a victim, they’ll follow until they’re sure no one could interfere with their nefarious plan. Once alone with their victim, they’ll hypnotize and lull them to do their bidding. Eventually, the victim will surrender their neck to the demon of darkness in a life-draining session.


Knowing what we know about zombies and vampires, who do you think would win a war between them?

I’ll play both sides of the battle for now.

Zombies are a powerful foe when fighting as part of a crowd. As individual creatures, not so much. A quick knife to the head; they’re gone. They’re not very smart either. When attacking their victims, they huddle around them in a frenzy in an attempt to get as much as they can from the meal, even kneeling with their backs turned while pillaging their spoil. Any opposing foe can quickly put these monsters out of their misery. But if the undead are united and see their goal, they’re unstoppable. Other than bullets and vehicles, zombies can rip through an army fairly quickly without much trouble.

Vampire strength, on the other hand, relies on the individual. The smarter a vampire, the more likelihood it would win against single zombies. The problem I see though, is vampires win by the spilling of their victim’s blood, an element zombies don’t need to stay alive. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Vampires are also very good with steering humans to do their will, something a braindead zombie would have a hard time doing, considering they don’t even know they’re dead.

So there you have it, a few points to keep in mind in this speculative argument. Verdict?

Don’t be mad at me, but I think zombies would win an all-out war against vampires. Two reasons: First, sheer numbers. If the whole of the human race turns zombie then vampires would have a tough time recruiting new candidates into their armies. Zombie viruses spread quicker than vampire replication. Second, zombies tear apart their victims. If vampires fall prey to zombies, there wouldn’t be anything left of them. Zombies can still survive without a body. World War Z attests to that. And if I were to add a third reason, I also would say if a war broke out during the day, vampires would burn up in the sun while the zombies sit and stare at their charred remains.

Of course, the age-old question is this: If a vampire bites a zombie will the zombie become a vampire? Or if the zombie bites the vampire will the vampire become a zombie?

These are the kinds of questions that keep me up at night.


Who do you think would win in a battle of zombie vs. vampire?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombies vs. Vampires

It’s been a while since I last wrote about Horror’s two battling genres in one post. If I were to add werewolves, then it would be a regular party. For today’s Monday Mayhem though, I’m going to concentrate on zombies vs. vampires. What makes one dominant during a season while another takes a vacation?

Asbury Park Zombie Walk 2010 (File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)
Asbury Park Zombie Walk 2010 (File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

It wasn’t too long ago that vampires stole the scene. Remember? They were everywhere. They were in movies, books, TV, magazines, songs, etc., and teens romanticized the genre, writers couldn’t meet demand. Twilight became a rage. Thirteen year-old girls wanted Edward to be their husband. Vampires were hot.

Then, as quickly as it’d started, it all changed.


Nowadays, zombies are the hottest ticket in town. Unlike previous generations of zombie lovers, we’ve become more sophisticated. We love our Zombie Runs where once, twice or as many times as we can handle, we go after competitors in an all-you-can-eat buffet of sprinting through a course for charity. In some respect, we join the troops to simply have fun while playing the part of zombie or victim.

It doesn’t end there. The most popular show on TV is The Walking Dead, about a group of survivors who try to elude walkers (zombies) as a way to find peace in a world consumed by a virus. So far, peace has escaped them. Perhaps one day they will find what they’re looking for. The show has spawned whole websites dedicated to the plot, cast and walkers.

The popularity contest between vampires and zombies is a long one. But, I have a theory. It has to do with the economy and it has to do with people’s perception of the world. This is what I think.

When times are good and folks feel secure with the economy, their neighborhood and their life, vampires rule the airwaves. When things don’t look so good, the economy is in crash and burn mode, and people are generally evil toward one another, zombies rule. Don’t take this as science, although there may have been a scientific study done here and there to prove it. I’m thinking out loud leaning with heavy generalizations.

Good times = vampires.
Bad times = zombies.

This is why I think zombies are currently popular. Vampires are gentlemen. They have a certain sophistication people equate to as being rich. I mean Dracula, the most famous vampire of them all, lives in a castle. How rich is that? While on the opposite end of the spectrum is the lowly zombie, working hard with a horde trying to make a meal out of anyone it comes across.

Silly theory, isn’t it? But it makes sense, right? Twilight and a number of other vampire franchises were at their peak in popularity when the economy was doing well or on a rebound. Now that things aren’t so great, zombies have taken over the top spot.

Maybe I’m too far off base with this one. What do you think?


What do you think makes a genre popular? Do you think the economy has anything to do with it?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday


They are flesh and blood, but not human. Probably haven’t been human for hundreds of years. Some might call it being born into darkness. For a little girl who has lost her parents to the plague in New Orleans, it certainly feels that way.

Kirsten Dunst as Claudia
Kirsten Dunst as Claudia

As Women Who Wow Wednesday continues its month-long tribute to women who rock Horror, which began last week with Maleficent, let’s examine the short life of Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) the vampire from the movie Interview with the Vampire, based on the book written by Anne Rice.

In 1791, Louis du Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt) is only twenty-four when Lestat de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise) turns him into a vampire. Before then, as the master of a large plantation, just south of New Orleans, Louis’ riches meant nothing to him. He’d lost his wife and child months earlier, and he longed for death. Young, vibrant, full of life, Lestat cuts Louis’ life short in an act of pure selfishness. Some may say, though, Lestat imparted Louis the essence of eternal life. However, how eternal is a life if it rests in the throes of damnation?

Claudia’s parents die by the plague. With the desire of wanting to revive her mother, the five-year-old asks Louis for help. Instead of bringing her mother back from the dead, a power Louis does not possess, he feeds off Claudia short of taking her life. Leaving her for dead, and with Louis’ conscience tearing at him for having drained Claudia of her life, Lestat bestows upon her eternal life, thus making her a vampire just like them.

Unlike Louis, whose manner of killing involves butchering animals but not people, Claudia’s hunger for blood has no bounds. From the moment Lestat made her into a predator, Claudia shows no regard for human life. Housekeepers fall to her scheming, leading Lestat to scold her, “Now, who will we get to finish your dress? There’s a practicality here! Remember, never in our home!”

Interview with the Vampire's Claudia
Interview with the Vampire’s Claudia

In the early days, Claudia’s victims died quickly. As time passes, she learns how to play with them, delaying the moment until she takes what she wants. No one is safe. She uses her diminutive appearance to draw victims into her arms. Shopkeepers easily surrender their goods to the vicious killer. Even her piano teacher dies at her hands, prompting Lestat once again to ask, “Claudia, what have we told you?” Of course she remembers, “Never in the house.”

One day, Claudia sees a woman bathing, then realizes she will never grow older than the eternal child she is. She discovers the truth, provoking her to loathe both Louis for taking her life and Lestat for giving her another. However, she also realizes she and Louis are in the same predicament, locked together in hatred.

But she admits, she can’t hate Louis.

As the story goes, Claudia takes vengeance upon Lestat, breaking one of the everlasting laws among vampires—vampire shall not kill vampire. As opposed to physical strength, she uses stealth and cunning to do it. Those attributes make Claudia one of the most feared fictional characters in Horror. It’s also the reason she takes one of the top spots in Women Who Wow Wednesday. She proves someone doesn’t have to bulge with muscle in order to get things done.


If you’ve seen Interview with a Vampire, what did you think of Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal of Claudia?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Why I Like Zombies

Have I ever told you why I like zombies? I mean, I write my Monday Mayhem posts, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned the reason why I’m drawn to these ill-fated, putrid-smelling, bile-seeping maggot bags the media affectionately calls zombies. I have a number of reasons for liking them, and today, you’re going to find out.

Asbury Park Zombie Walk 2010 (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)
Asbury Park Zombie Walk 2010 (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

As many of my regular readers know, I have an affinity for 80’s movies. Because of that love for all things retro, Terminator has always been at the top of my list of sci-fi/action flicks for a cold Friday night. Why? You see, terminators keep coming after you. No matter how many bullets you pump into them, two-by-fours you break over their head, and knives you use to gut them, they still keep coming after you. I like that idea. Zombies are like that, too. If a zombie does not sustain a bullet to the head, it will drag, pull and follow its way to you until you are dead. They don’t know pain. They don’t know exhaustion. They don’t even have a clue they are undead. But one thing’s for sure, they will not give up until they see you screaming in absolute terror, awaiting your fate under their feet.

Apart from my enjoyment of seeing the zombie inclination to persevere, I have fun with the idea that their walk, in a subtle sort of way, embodies the afterlife. Who doesn’t want to know what happens to them when they die? For years, vampires have shown themselves as Horror’s answer to everlasting life. In all truth, though, all things have to end. Enter the zombie. Not much different from vampires, the zombie life depends entirely on the consumption of human victims. The difference being, zombies hunt as part of hordes. Humanity’s fascination with the afterlife has created these creatures as a way to understand what it means to die. What will happen to us? What is the purpose of this life? Why are we here? I don’t know about you, but if I die, I’d rather not imagine a life befitting a zombie. Sounds like a messy affair to me.

The biggest reason I love zombies, and this is purely from a writer’s perspective, is that they can represent anything a writer wants to convey by way of metaphor. In other words, if I want to talk about how oppressive a society is of its people, I can simply write the zombies as a depiction of that society and of its willingness to destroy its victims, eating them to the bone. Same goes for cults that have a way of controlling their brethren. You know the kind, where the members can’t do anything without church consent or recommendation. The zombies in that story become despicable demons bent on absolute destruction of its family members.

The possibility of using metaphors is endless.

So much of what goes on in the media becomes fodder for zombie stories. I can’t dispute the fact that the undead have a way of bringing people together. One day, I’m sure I’ll find out what it all means. Until that day, I’ll keep enjoying movies featuring zombies in thrilling chases, stories about the undead living forever, and of life’s little metaphors.

Now do you see why I like zombies?


Why do you like zombies?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday


Horror. The word spins tales of madness between moments of lucid thought. The darkest moments in our lives become our episodes of horror for us to share with those who know nothing of who we really are. Horror.


As part of my Women Who Wow Wednesday series, for the month of October I’m focusing on female roles in Horror movies. I began the event last week with Rachel Keller, the lead character in The Ring, a film about a cursed video tape capable of killing anyone who watches it.

This week, I’m looking at two girls, both the same yet very different. Two girls because the film came out in Sweden in 2008 and Hollywood adapted it to American audiences in 2010.

The girls? Eli (Lina Leandersson) of Let the Right One In, and Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) of Let Me In.

*spoilers ahead*

My friend, who is an undisputed Foreign Film buff, led me to the movie Let the Right One In a couple of years ago without a hint of its plot. He said, “Watch it.” I had no idea.

Circa 1982, Eli is a young girl who moves into an apartment complex with her guardian. It’s night. Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a boy about the same age as Eli notices their move. They meet alone in the dead of winter at the playground between apartments. He offers her a snack, but she’s not very hungry.

As the friendship blossoms they have this conversation:

Oskar: How old are you?
Eli: Twelve… more or less. What about you?
Oskar: Twelve years, eight months and nine days. What do you mean, “more or less”? When’s your birthday?
Eli: I don’t know.
Oskar: Don’t you celebrate your birthday? Your parents… they’ve got to know.
Eli: [Eli looks down on the ground]
Oskar: Then you don’t get any birthday presents, do you?
Eli: No.

Oskar & Eli
Oskar & Eli

Something about Eli bothers Oskar. She’s not like the other girls. Why isn’t she in school? From where did they move? Why did they move?

In the meantime, a serial killer is on the loose. The killings started about the same time Eli and her guardian moved into the Blackeberg suburb.

The film is a slow build feature. Much of who Eli is does not come out until later in the movie when Oskar confesses to her how he has enemies at school, who just as well rather see him dead than have him live a fulfilling life. Eli encourages Oskar to fight back and in turn becomes Oskar’s closest friend, which soon enough becomes love.

The charm with Eli’s character is seeing how she reveals to Oskar who she really is. In the American version Let Me In, Abby’s revelation comes at a more intense moment than is otherwise expected.

Let Me In's Abby played by Chloë Grace Moretz
Let Me In’s Abby played by Chloë Grace Moretz

Don’t worry; I won’t reveal the nature of who Eli/Abby really is. Although I do feel it somewhat my duty to warn that the movies, especially the Swedish version, have their moments of creepiness.

Why would I choose Eli/Abby as a Woman Who Wows? Everyone has a secret. In her case, she’s kept it for a long time. How long? No one knows. But when Oskar finds out, she keeps from acting on instinct. Instead, she builds him up to defeat those who dare stake a claim on his life. Her strength lies in empowering the weak. And this is why she wows.

That ability to empower is greater than the threat of death.


Have you seen Let the Right One In? How about Let Me In? If you have, what did you think of Eli/Abby?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

I Hated Zombies

There once was a boy name Jack, and he hated zombies without lack. Crazy, isn’t it? That boy was me. I disliked zombies because I thought they were the stupid, malignant, dregs of Horror that amounted to nothing better than cheap laughs and gruesome kills.

Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising 3

Now that I have your attention, I’m dedicating this Monday Mayhem post to the skeptics. To all those folks who hate zombies and don’t know why. Ahem, because they think zombies are of the devil—or something so insanely ridiculous as such. This post goes out to you dislikers of the undead. Prove your hatred.

It wasn’t long ago when I, too, freely admit to have been one of the zombie naysayers. I’d thought vampires were cool and werewolves were powerful. But zombies? What did they have? I couldn’t get past their weak countenance. They wore torn clothes, for crying out loud. Even I could have punched one of them in the face to have it topple over like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

Ah, but you see, that’s where I went wrong. I thought of a zombie as a single unit. That’s not where a zombie’s strength lies. Zombies don’t work that way. Separate a zombie from the crowd and yes, it’s time to say good-bye to another of the undead. However, as part of the horde, it’s as good as dug itself in like an Alabama tick. As a whole, they’re impenetrable; functioning as a single-minded mass with only one thing on their mind—eat.

Someone's in Trouble
Someone’s in Trouble

When did I change my view on zombies? I saw 28 Days Later late one night while my family slept, and I needed some solid entertainment. I didn’t know what the movie was at the time, having caught it a few minutes after the credits, but I watched it anyway. Hard not to watch someone waking up in hospital garb to what looks like a world gone crazy. Then have the movie tease me to a slow reveal. That’s what started it all for me. I saw the zombies. They weren’t weak but strong brutes able to turn other humans into zombies. And the humans were afraid of them. I thought, what is this? Shivers trailed my arms to my spine leading up my neck. The movie captivated me. I wanted more.

From there I went on a zombie binge. Within a week, I had seen 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and Zombieland.

The old Scooby-Doo paradigm I had carried for so long had all but disappeared, replaced by today’s zombie—a predator of vast proportions, able to seek and destroy those who’d dare get in the way. Their single-minded focus to rid the world of humans fascinates me. They act as Star Trek’s Borg, a collective bent on satiating eternal hunger pangs. How can I argue these zombies are weaklings?

To exacerbate the issue, I’d fallen in love with the notion zombies can reproduce. One bite is all it takes and a human is no longer with the living. In some respect, it might actually be an improvement since some folk are dead already.

Yae, naysayers, come and give pittance to your trite cause for slamming zombies wherefore you know nothing of. You hate the undead in ignorance. Let the beasts of the field show you the empty graves to those who will dismember the world.


What do you like about zombies the most? Did you have an epic flip from hater to lover of the genre?